Electronic music stars split from Rock to form own lobbying group

 

For too long, rock’s guitar-wielding stars have sneered at the button-pushing upstarts of electronic music.

But now the dominance of dance music has prompted its leading lights to create the first lobbying group designed purely to advance the claims of electronic music.

Leading DJs, musicians, managers, record labels and festival promoters have joined forces to create the Association For Electronic Music (AFEM), a trade organisation with a mission to “represent the common interests of all individuals and companies whose business is electronic dance music and to advocate on behalf of electronic dance music as a musical genre.”

The formal breakaway of electronic dance music, incorporating the sub-genres of techno, dubstep, and house, from hoary old rock music, is timely.

On Wednesday night, Kraftwerk play the first of eight sold-out special concerts at Tate Modern, with tickets to see the German electronic music pioneers trading for £500 on secondary websites.

Meanwhile the US has fallen under the spell of Electronic Dance Music, turning producers including dubstep star Skrillex and the French producer David Guetta into festival-headlining acts.

“Electronic music has been the red-headed stepchild of music genres,” claims Kurosh Nasseri, a Washington DC-based entertainment lawyer who represents clients including electro producer Armand van Helden and techno DJ Carl Craig.

Nasseri, AFEM co-founder, said: “Despite the longevity of electronic dance music it is still not viewed as a legitimate genre or taken seriously by governments, the media and the industry. It’s time for our business to speak with a unified voice to represent the genre and to address the issues.”

Key demands for AFEM, which has appointed Nile Rodgers, the Chic musician, as Ambassador, include equal representation for dance music at award ceremonies.

“The Brits eliminated the best dance act category in 2005. We’d like to see that reinstated,” said Nasseri, a trustee of the Grammys. He is pushing for the Dance/Electronica category at the US music awards, held this weekend, to be included in the live telecast.

AFEM will also challenge perceptions that dance music festivals are unsafe. “Accidents do happen when large numbers of people come together and the tendency is to blame Electronic Dance Music and make a link with drugs,” Nasseri said. “But it’s ludicrous to ascribe accidents to a musical format. Mishaps occur just the same at rock events.”

The not-for-profit organisation hopes to attract support from artists who have helped popularise electronic music, such as Lady Gaga and Madonna, and hopes that its star names will lobby governments. Nasseri said: “If there are relevant Congressional hearings it would make sense to testify. It helps create legitimacy around the genre.”

AFEM will open offices in the UK and US and its advisory board includes the manager of the chart-topping dance group Swedish House Mafia, Sony Music’s head of Electronic Music and the CEO of Beatport, the leading online music store for DJs.

But who should be allowed to join AFEM’s community of DJs and synth-prodders? Will a rock band which adds electronic beats to boost its commercial prospects be allowed in? “Defining electronic music is difficult,” said Nasseri. “We hope to cast a wide net and I’m tempted to say let’s be inclusive if there’s any doubt.”

On Wednesday night, Kraftwerk commence their first live UK dates since 2004 with a performance of their classic 1974 Autobahn album. Demand to see the shows caused the Tate Modern website to crash and the gallery said it will set up a dedicated queuing area at the River Entrance for any £60 returned tickets.

Basement Jaxx was the last act to win the Dance Act category at the Brit Awards. The organisers replaced the category in 2005 with a Best Live Act prize, won by Muse. The switch was seen as a snub to a dance scene, which was then perceived to be suffering an artistic decline as guitar bands enjoyed a brief commercial renaissance.

AFEM co-founder Ben Turner, director of Ibiza’s International Music Summit and manager of Detroit techno artist Richie Hawtin, said: “These are extraordinary times for electronic music. We have seen it break through into the mainstream in the US and become the backbone of modern pop music. Yet despite such success, it feels like there is an even bigger need for an Association for Electronic Music to exist and speak with one voice.”

Arts and Entertainment
music

Arts and Entertainment
Creep show: Tim Cockerill in ‘Spider House’

TVEnough to make ardent arachnophobes think twice

Arts and Entertainment
Steven, Ella Jade and Sarah in the boardroom
tvThe Apprentice contestants take a battering from the business mogul
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Jewel in the crown: drawings from ‘The Letter for the King’, an adventure about a boy and his mission to save a medieval realm
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Juergen Wolf won the Young Masters Art Prize 2014 with his mixed media painting on wood, 'Untitled'
art
Arts and Entertainment
Iron Man and Captain America in a scene from
filmThe upcoming 'Black Panther' film will feature a solo black male lead, while a female superhero will take centre stage in 'Captain Marvel'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Imperial War Museum, pictured, has campaigned to display copyrighted works during the First World War centenary
art
Arts and Entertainment
American Horror Story veteran Sarah Paulson plays conjoined twins Dot and Bette Tattler
tvReview: Yes, it’s depraved for the most part but strangely enough it has heart to it
Arts and Entertainment
The mind behind Game of Thrones George R. R. Martin
books

Will explain back story to fictional kingdom Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Dorothy in Return to Oz

film Unintentionally terrifying children's movies to get you howling (in fear, tears or laughter)
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Robert James-Collier as under-butler Thomas

TVLady Edith and Thomas show sad signs of the time
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Dad's Army cast hit the big screen

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge

books
Arts and Entertainment
On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning?
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
music review
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

    A Syrian general speaks

    A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    ‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

    Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

    Fall of the Berlin Wall

    History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
    How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

    Turn your mobile phone into easy money

    There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

    Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

    "I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
    Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

    11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

    Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
    Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

    Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

    The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
    Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

    The school that means business

    Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
    10 best tablets

    The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

    They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
    Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

    Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

    The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
    Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

    Pete Jenson's a Different League

    Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
    John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

    The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
    The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

    The killer instinct

    Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
    Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

    Clothing the gap

    A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
    Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

    The Fall of the Berlin Wall

    Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain